In my research I have come to know a lot about the man, Our Robert Berry who made a life for himself and his family in Orange County, North Carolina.
Robert had a very good start in life when he inherited the property in Princess Anne County Virginia from his father’d will.
Robert was a great business person which is substantiated by the fact that he accumulated 1002.25 acres of land in his lifetime.
- Original Granville Land Grant for 263 acres on December 3, 1753.
- In 1785 he purchased 200 acres from John McCullough for 25 pounds 4 schillings Proclamation Money.
- In 1787 he purchased the Patrick Rutherford property on 247.25 acres adjoining the southern boundary of the land grant property from Patrick’s three sons, William, James, and Thomas Rutherford . Orange County Deed Book 4 Page 518.
- Robert Berry was granted another 293 acers of land adjoining hie East boundary on March 13, 1780. Orange County Deed Book 42 Page 19
Robert Berry’s Civic duties included serving on jury duty, Chain carrier during survey to locate a road, serving on road building crews as a worker and as the overseer as many as three times and serving as a private in the Continental Army.
Robert Berry allowed his daughter Elizabeth Berry to live in his home until his granddaughter Mary Berry (born out of wedlock) was grown and married. This may have been because Elizabeth was raped but in those times some families would not have allowed this even under those circumstances.
The most reveling information came from the will he wrote in 1712
Robert was 83 hears old when he wrote his will and it is obvious that he had a very alert mind, he knew exactly what he wanted to include in his will. He proved that he was a fair and loving father by dividing his property equally between each of his 10 children. There were three exceptions to this however.
- His Daughter, Mary Kempe (Camp), deceased 1 pound.
- His son William who was still alive 1 pound.
- His youngest son Henry inherited the home place with very specific instructions on how his mentally disabled son, Isaac Berry was to be cared for during the rest of his natural life. Henry was to be responsible to carry out Robert’s wishes concerning his son, Issac Berry’s lifetime and if Issac should become of normal mind, Henry should give Isaac all of his inheritance to manage himself. Isaac was mention 5 times in Robert’s will
Even though John Berry and Thomas Berry were both deceased their heirs received their share of Robert’s property.
William Berry however was only granted 1 pound because it appears that Robert Berry was was not pleased by the way William treated his wife, Hannah Cate Berry and their three sons. Robert continued to allow Hanna and Sarah Cate Berry to live in his old Patrick Rutherford Home place after William went with his brother, Thomas to Tennessee to search for land. Robert may or may not have known the William had taken a new wife in 1812. but he did know that his son Thomas Berry had been killed by Indians. Somebody came back to Orange County with that news and probably Thomas’ Widow, Sarah Cate Berry, went to Tennessee with whoever brought the news about Thomas Berry’s death to his family. There is no way a woman with two teenage children would have taken that trip alone.
My personal view is that I am very proud to be a descendant of such an outstanding man as Robert Berry.